Hyundai looks to increase collaboration with Google

The self-driving car market is set to get very big, very fast, on the back of efforts by the likes of Ford, GM and other major car makers. Hyundai is not a company often included in the list of OEMs at the cutting edge of autonomous tech, and the South Korean company could use some friends to help it keep pace with the development of autonomous driving tech.

Hyundai is in discussions with Google currently regarding areas where the two companies’ interests overlap, Bloomberg reports, based on an interview with Hyundai Motor Co. president Jeong Jin Hang. The two have worked together on putting Android Auto support into its vehicles, basically covering the lineup in terms of availability in new models. But Haeng’s keeping mum on what exactly it might work on with Google beyond infotainment.

Self-driving tech is a clear candidate, and there’s been some exchange on the subject between the two companies already: Google hired Hyundai U.S. CEO John Krafcik in 2015 to take the lead on its self-driving car project. Google seems to have sought out Krafcik because of his legacy car industry chops, but if it’s looking for deeper car industry expertise to supplement its autonomous driving tech experiments, a proper partnership with an OEM like Hyundai could be an even bigger help.

More collaboration between Hyundai and Google doesn’t necessarily mean self-driving cars, but the advent of robotic vehicles is going to change the face of the industry, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see any vehicle makers that are lagging behind pursue extreme measures to catch up.